an ex-evangelical doing a year of living christianly
by MW Cook
The pope was in Portugal a little while ago to give his traditional Mass at Fatima’s Sanctuary. While giving his speech he denounced homosexual marriage and said that it was one of “today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.”
Does that get you thinking? It gets me thinking. Here’s what I started thinking:
What are today’s greatest threats to the common good?
Here’s the list I brainstormed:
Nuclear Proliferation. There are about 22,000 nuclear warheads in the world. Apparently it would only take 500-600 warheads to kill every human on the planet. That’s too bad, eh? And now that wild countries like North Korea, Iran and Pakistan are getting their hands on the things, it seems pretty stressful. It’s a good thing Obama is taking steps to get rid of them, but it still feels like a threat to the common good to have these thing laying around, eh?
Extreme Global Poverty. I think I’ve mentioned this one before. 53% of all deaths in the world are hunger-related. That’s 35 million or so. I figure anything that accounts for more than half of all deaths is a hefty threat, don’t you? This is even more threatening than nuclear proliferation, I think. At least the nukes aren’t killing us yet. Hunger is.
Religious Violence. 85 people died a few days ago in Pakistan because they prayed in the wrong kind of mosque. I search for words to use against the sorts of people who choose violence to solve religious disagreements. I found the words, but I imagine I’d lose a lot of my audience if I actually used them. They are not nice words.
Malice. Ah, malice. That deep, enigmatic urge that drives man to hurt man. Can you imagine what the world would be like without it? I bet it’d be pretty good. Think of all the things that would go away! Violence, passive-agressive stuff, spite, all gone! Malice may be just about the worst urge a person can have. Would you call it a threat to the common good? I should hope so.
War. Armed, violent conflict between nations. The only sure outcome of war is dead people. And since war is always on a national level, it’s usually a lot of dead people. And whenever something leads to a lot of dead people, I consider it a threat to the common good, don’t you?
Ignorance. Great evil is often born out of ignorance. Some of the textbooks at the school I taught at in Pakistan said that 9/11 was pulled off by Israel in an attempt to get the US to destroy the Muslim world. This, of course, is breeding a new generation of young people who consider the West to be an implacable enemy. This gives birth to Taliban. This sucks.
I look at this list, coming just off the top of my ill-informed head, and I find a desire to ask one question of the Pope: “Amid these insidious and dangerous threats to the common good, where does homosexual marriage fit?”